tv The Communicators CSPAN August 12, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
bush and did it. becauseot as big a deal people were not watching. everybody is watching the affordable health care act. delaying the effective date of a tax happens all of the time. and the door the president to do that has only been questioned when president obama did what everybody else did. [applause] >> my question was not about the they. it was about exemption. he granted it to you at your entire staff very you are exempt from this program. and then to all of the union said that he did. 10 different unions. >> what happened in >> what happened in congress was in the bill. members of congress and the staff are the only employees in congress that lose their health insurance and have to go into
the exchange. after we wrote it, we noticed that we're getting health insurance as a benefit. we go into the exchange again if we still want to get some benefit. to have the insurance. got now, i'm not sure they the final decision. the result is we would be no worse off than before we went in the exchange. that's what's going on in congress. i thought you were talking about the ememployer mandate. >> no, the exemption. > thank you. >> yes, sir. >> my name is thurgood, and i don't particularly care for health insurance, but i, too have to go and read about health insurance. so i learn a little something
and sometimes i don't. because there are a whole lot of definitions when you go into the hipa training, and it gets very involved. but in reading the literature, you talk about the health insurance, they talk about the members of congress. that means the members of congress have a broad plan, a computer plan, and a gold plan. that's my question. >> let me say this. the members of congress will be getting the same kind of plan that the marketplace asks everybody else. because members of congress, only said, are the employees in the country that cannot keep the insurance that we got. we go into the exchange. so i was paying attention, just like you were, because that's what i have to be getting. >> that might answer my next question. you-all have ductibles and go-pays? >> we will get the same policy -- like i said, i was paying attention what was going on just
like you were. >> and my other question is, we have a -- an insane congress. any time you try to repeal a law that's been approved by the supreme court, you try to repeal t for the times. that's an example of doing the same thing over and over looking for different results. and it has been 40 times. what is it so bad about this affordable care act that those other people -- you all know who i'm talking about. come on. et's get real. this is the deal. at is so bad about it that they want to repeal it so bad? is it that they don't want to have the same type of health insurance other people have? or they just want to keep on --
i don't know what they want to o. >> congressman, would you like me to try to interpret that, or -- >> what's so bad about it? >> sir, i'll try to answer a little bit and i'll bail the congressman out a little bit. the congressman and his staff will have the same insurance. as a result of that, they lost what they had before, which was through this program called the federal health insurance benefit, which was a real good deal. now he is going to get the same insurance plan that you might get if you are in the exchange. there are some differences in the ememployer contribution to it that is different. that's not the reason the republicans have been going after this. i can assure you of that. that's the least thing they care bout in all of this.
do you want me to tell you what i think of this or not? >> help me out. >> i will tell you. and this is the hard part of the discussion. i have a 3-year-old granddaughter. when my granddaughter was born three years ago, her share of the federal debt was $44,000. now, the unfortunate thing is this year her share of the federal debt is $54,000. every man, woman, and child in america owes a piece of that debt. now what congress has not figured out how to do is balance the budget. i think the essence of this program, and we talk about this money coming in, and 90% forever , the question is, who is paying for it? we borrow all this money from china. china has a billion people in the navy. we have to pay them back one
day. that is what the essence of the discussion is. it boils down to, i'm not trying to judge what i'm telling you, but i think the essence here of what they are talking about is what is the proper of role of government and what is the proper role of the taxpayers and how much more of this should be taxed, paid for, and how much should be spent. that's really what this is caught up in. it's not about congress' benefits. ot this time anyway. >> one of the things when we passed obama care, we made some changes in medicare. i think everybody in here remembers $716, the number of billions of dollars. when the dust settles, the congressional research service estimates that there will be more 0 paying for it than there are services.
about a trillion in services, about $1.1 trillion in new offsets so that the budget will be about $100 billion better off at the end of 10 years and a lot more better off in the future because of obama care. the question that it is a fiscal responsibility issue, there is nothing wrong with looking at the numbers. the numbers are in stark contrast of the prescription drugs. that is one of the things that passed that athey didn't pay for. that went straight to the bottom line deficit. that's where the deficit is coming from. we have tax cuts. that's how they got in the ditch they are in. obama care we very meticulously made sure, and a tv commercial is one of them, because everybody is running on how you pay for them. we like to run on the benefits. unfortunately if you are doing it right, have you to do both.
you talk about repealing obama care. you get the sense you can repeal obama care without repealing vealing the taxes that paid for it. a lot of people think if you started from scratch, the deficit would be worse. we wanted to make sure those things would be paid for. there is nothing wrong with raising the question, but the answer is that obama care was more than paid for and the next 10 years, it is going to be even more. one thing about health care, people saying about medicare and medicaid going up and up and up, out of control. well, that is not a medicaid sure or medicare problem as much as it is a med medical problem. you ask any of the physicians in here that have been prescribing health care for their employees
r 20 years, 30 or 40 years ago, everybody got family coverage, no problem. then after a few years, well, we'll give you coverage, but you have to pay for your family. after a few years, you pay for your family and some of your own. then it is about 50-50. then we'll get a group policy because it is cheaper, but you have to pay the whole thing. i mean, if you draw that mine line, medical care has been going out of control. and if the medicaid programs are paying medical expenses, obviously they are going to have ig challenges. so we have to get medical care expenses under control, and to a large extent obama care is encouraging people to do that. they are encouraging hospitals to get it right for the first time. if you go back to the hospital, we're not going to pay for that admission the second time
anymore that if you go to the shop and you drive it out and it's broken, are you going to pay for it again? no. and i think a lot of the things secretary hazel has been talking about, how you pay the doctors. ore comprehensive. finally get the medical costs under control. if medicare doesn't pay it up, hen you pay the expenses fpble somebody got a much bigger hit than most people on average. the health care costs have been going up every year. last year's increase was the
smallest they have had in about half a century. next year people will be paying 25% less for an individual policy than they are pig now. in new york, it is about 50%. some will be paying 50% of what they are paying now. so obama care making sure verybody is covered. and that's going to control the cost a little bit. but medical care problems are the challenge that we're dealing with. medicare and obama care are just symptoms of it. >> if it was paid for, if it was aw, so it is being paid. basically it just adds to the deficit. next question.
>> is there a mandate for providers to participate. it is great to have insurance, but you need someone to accept it. are they going to be on the system the way they are paid for medicaid or medicare? the private -- is there some kind of mandate to compel these hospitals or corporations so that once you have this insurance somebody is going to actually accept it for payment? >> the answer in short is no. some states have looked at it. massachusetts has tried that in the past. but the answer so that is no. it is not a mandate. i think one of the challenges we find on the medicaid side right now. we pay medicaid costs 75%. we pay about 70% of that, per state. that's one of the things we have
to consider. we're already cost shifting 30% on to everybody else. we, the government program of medicaid and medicare. medicare has been typically below cost, too. so it becomes a little bit of an unfunded burden on providers. it has to be worked out. you can't have a sustainable long-term program when you promise something but yet you don't pay for it. >> there is one other thing obama care is cog doing, and that is providing funding to increase the number of providers. --there will be providers in there. scholarships for doctors to go into under-served areas, nurses, physicians assistants and building up the numbers of providers. >> that's what i wanted to say, congressman. just a number of private health insurance.
>> just like a doctor is not required to take insurance from any company. we are under a -- we are increasing -- it is a great time right now if you are interested in get k into the health care field that you can get loan forgiveness or scholarship funding. we realize it is important to increase the health care work force. >> thank you. we want to remind everyone, we had information passed out at the table. he number to call is 1 -800-318-2596 for your answer. and we can answer
answer some of the questions we have had trouble with. i want to thank you forum -- for coming in. october 1 you can start signing up for our coverage. tell your friends, january 1, everybody, all americans will be able to afford health insurance for the first time after 100 years of trying. thank you. give our panelists a round of applause. thank you very much.
>> tonight on c-span, attorney general eric holder on changes to federal sentencing policies. colin --olumnist kevin whitey mafia boss bulger. then later, first ladies, influence and image. >> attorney general eric holder outlined changes to federal sentencing policies today. the smart on crime plan includes changing how the justice department prosecutes nonviolent drug abuse offenders and intends
to lower the overall prison population and save money. from san francisco, this is half an hour. >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be here. i want to thank bob for those kind words and his serving as chair of the american bar association. it is a privilege to be here with so many friends and colleagues as well as the district attorney for the northern district of california, 2013da hague, here for the meeting. i would like to thank the delegates for all you have done this week and for your dedication for serving as grateful stewards to the greatest nation the world has ever known. from the earliest days our republic has been bound together
by this system and by the values that define it. these values -- equality, opportunity, and justice under law -- were first codified in the united states constitution, and they were renewed and reclaimed nearly a century later by this organization's earliest members. with the founding of the a.b.a. in 1878, america's leading legal minds came together for the first time to revolutionize their profession. in the decades that followed, they created new standards for training and professional conduct, and they established the law as a clear and focused vocation at the heart of our ountry's identity. throughout history, americans of all backgrounds and walks of life have turned to our legal system to settle disputes, but
also to hold accountable those who have done wrong, and even to answer fundamental questions about who we are and who we aspire to be. on issues of slavery and segregation, voting and violence, equal rights and equal justice. generations of principled lawyers have engaged directly in the work of building a more perfect union. today, under the leadership of my good friend, president laurel bellokws, this organization is fighting against budget cuts ability of ne the our courts to administer justice. you're standing with me, and with my colleagues across the obama administration, in dauling calling for constitutional action on common-sense measures to prevent and reduce gun violence. and you're advancing our global fight against the heinous crime of human trafficking. in so many ways, today's a.b.a. is reminding us that although our laws must be continually
updated, our shared dedication to the cause of justice and the ideals set forth by our constitution must remain constant. it is this sense of dedication that brings me to san francisco today, to enlist your partnership in forging a more just society. to ask for your leadership in reclaiming once more the values we haled hold dear. and to draw upon the a.b.a.'s legacy of achievement in calling on every member of our profession to question that which is accepted truth, to challenge that which is unjust, to break free of a tired status quo, and to take bold steps to reform and strengthen america's criminal justice system in concrete and fundamental ways. it is time to address persistent needs and unwarranted disparities by considering a fundamentally new approach. as a prosecutor, judge, and attorney in private practice, i
have seen the criminal justice system firsthand in nearly every angle. while i have the jut most faith and dedication to america's legal system, we must face the reality is that our system is in too many respects broken. the the course we are on is far from sustainable. we can improve in order to better advance the cause of justice for all americans. even as we see most crime rates decline, we need to examine new law enforcement strategies and better allocate resources to keep pace with today's continuing threats as violence spikes in some of our greatest cities. now, as studies show, 6-10 american children are exposed to violence at some point in their ives, and nearly one in four college women experience some form of sexual assault by their senior year.
we need fresh solutions for assisting victims and empowering survivors. as the so-called war on drugs enters its fifth decade, we need o ask whether it and the approaches that comprise it have been truly effective and build on the administration's efforts led by the office of national drug control policy to usher in . new approach and with an outsized unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter, and rehabilitate, not merely warehouse and forget. today a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration traps too many americans and weakens too many
communities. and many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate these problems rather than alleviate them. [applause] it's clear as we come together today, that too many americans go to too many prisons for far too long. it is time to foster safer communities from coast to coast. these are issues the president and i have been talking about for as long as i've known him. issues he's felt strongly about these are s days issues the president and i have been talking about for as long as i've known him. he's worked hard over the years
to protect our communities, to keep violent crimes off the streets, and to make sure those who break the law are held accountable. he's made it his mission to reduce the disparities in our criminal justice system. in illinois he passed legislation that addressed racial profiling and trained police departments on how they could avoid racial bias. in 2010, this administration successfully advocated for the reduction of the unjust 100-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder crack and powder cocaine. that's the balance of the president and i have tried to strike, because it is important to safeguard our communities and stray true to our values. and we've made progress, but as you heard the president say a few weeks ago when he spoke about the trayvon martin case, he also bleeveds that our work
is far from finished. that's why over the next several months the president will continue to reach out of congress from both parties as well as governors, mayors, and other leaders to build the great work of being done across the country to reduce violent crime and reform our criminal justice system. we need to keep taking steps to make sure people feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. at the beginning of the year i i launched a targeted justice department justice department eview of federal system. today i am pleased to announce the results of this review which include a series of significant actions that the department has undertaken to better protect the american people from crime, to increase support for those who become victims, and to ensure public safety by improving our criminal justice system as a whole. we have studied state systems and have been impressed by the policy shifts some have made.
i hope other state systems will follow our lead and implement changes as well. the changes i announce today underscore this administration's strong commitment to common sense criminal justice form. -- reform. and our efforts must begin with law enforcement. particularly in these chase changing times. federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies has never been more important. it is imperative that we maximize our resources by combating violent crime, fighting against financial traud, and safe gs guarding the most vulnerable members of our society. this means that federal prosecutors cannot and should not bring every case or charge stands endant who accused of scry lating federal law. some issues are best handled at
the state or local level. that's why i have today directed the united states attorney community to develop specific, locally tailored guidelines consistent with our national priorities for determining when federal charges should be filed and when they should not. i have also issued guidance to ensure that every case we bring serves a substantial federal interest and complements the work of our law enforcement partners. i have directed the u.s. attorney generals to create and update comprehensive anti-violence strategies for badly aficted areas within their districts. and i have encouraged them to convene regular law enforcement foreyums with state and local partners to refine these plans, to foster greater efficiency, and to facilitate more open communication and cooperation. by targeting the most serious offenses, prosecuting the most dangerous criminals, directing assistance to crime hot spots, and pursuing new ways to promote public safety, deterrence,
efficiency, and fairness, we in the federal government can become both smarter and tougher on crime. [applause] which providing leadership and bringing intelligence-driven strategies to bear we can bolster the efforts of local leaders, u.s. attorneys, and others to fight against violent crime. beyond this work through the community oriented policing , vices, or c.o.p.s., office the justice department is helping police departments department keep officers on the beat while enhancing training and technical support. over the last four years, we have allocated more than $1.5 billion through the c.o.p.s.
hiring program to save or create over 8,000 jobs in local law enforcement in the coming weeks. we will announce a new round of c.o.p.s. grants, totaling more than $110 million to support the hiring of military veterans and school resource officers throughout the country. in addition, through our landmark defending childhood initiative and the national forum on youth violence prevention, we're rallying federal leaders, state officials, private organizations, and community groups to better understand, address, and prevent young people's exposure to violence. we have assembled a new task force to respond to the exstream levels of violence faced by far too many american indian and alaska native children. next month we will launch a national public awareness campaign to call for comprehensive solutions. and through the department of civil rights division and other
components we will continue to work with allies like the department of education and throughout the federal government and beyond to confront school-to-prison pipeline and those zero-tolerance school discipline policies that do not promote safety and that transform too many educational institution frs doorways of opportunity into gateways of the criminal justice ystem. a minor school disciplinary offense should put a student in the principal's office, and not a police precinct. [applause] we'll also continue offering resources and support survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence. earlier this summer, i announce a new justice department initiative, known as vision 21, which offers an unprecedented snapshot of the current state of victim services. it calls for sweeping
evidence-based changes to bring these services into the 21st century and to empower all survivors by closing research gaps and developing new ways to reach those who need our assistance the most. this work shows tremendous promise. more broadly, through the department's access to the ustice initiative -- julls initiative, the civil rights decision and range of grant programs, this administration is bringing stakeholders together and providing direct support to address the inequalities that unfold every day in american courtrooms to fulfill the supreme court's historic decision in gideo vs. wainwright. 50 years ago last march, this landmark ruling afirmed that every defendant charged with a serious crime has the right to an attorney, even if he or she cannot afford wufpblet yet america's indigent defense
systems continue to exist in a state of crisis and the promise of gideon is not being met. [applause] to address this crisis, congress must not only end the forced budget cuts that have decimated public defenders nationwide, they must expand existing indigent defense programs, provide access to council for more juvenile defendants, and increase funding for federal public defender offices. [applause] and every legal professional must answer the a.b.a.'s call to contribute to this cause through pro bono service and help realize the promise of equal justice for all. [applause] as we come together this morning, this same promise must lead us all to acknowledge that although incarceration that is has a significant role to play in our justice system, widespread incarceration at the
federal, state, and local levels is both ineffective and unsustainable. it imposes a significant economic burden, totaling $80 billion in 2010 alone, and it comes with human and moral costs that are impossible to calculate. as a nation, we are goled coldly efficient in our incarceration efforts. now, while the entire u.s. population has increased by about a third since 1980, the federal prison population has grown by an astonishing rate, almost 800 percent. it is still growing, despite the fact that federal prisons are operating at nearly 40% above apacity. even though this country comprises just 5% of the world's population, we incarcerate almost a quarter of the world's prisoners. more than 219,000 federal inmates are currently behind bars.
almost half of them are serving time for drug-related crimes and many have substance use disorders. 9 million to 10 million more people cycle through america's local jails each year. roughly 40% of former federal prisoners, and more than 60% of former state prisoners, are rearrested or have their supervision revoked within three years after their release, at great cost to american taxpayers and often for technical or minor violations of the terms of their release. as a society we pay a too high a price whenever our system fails to deliver outcomes that deter and punish crime, keep us safe, and enshoor that those who pay their debts have the chance to become productive citizens. right now unwarranted disparities are far too bhon common. president obama said last month, it is time to ask tough questions about how we can strengthen our communities, how we can support young people.
how we can address the fact that young black and lat mow men are disproportionately likely to become involved in our criminal justice system as victims as well as perpetrators. we also must confront the reality that once they are in that system, people of color often face harsher punishments than their peers. one deeply troubling report released in february of this year indicates that in recent years black male offenders have received sentences nearly 20% longer than those imposed on white males convicted of similar crimes. this isn't just unacceptable, it is shameful. [applause] it is unworthy of our great country. it is unworthy of our great legal tradition. and in response i have today directed a group of u.s. attorneys to address sentencing
disparities and to develop recommendations on how we can can address this. in this area and in many others, in ways both large and small, we as a country must re-- resolve to do better. the president and i agree that it is time to take i pragmatic approach. that's why i am proud to announce today that the justice department will take a series of significant actions to recalibrate america's federal criminal justice system. we will start by fundamentally rethinking the notion of mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes. [applause] some statutes that mandate inflectionible sentences, and this is regardless of the individual conduct at issue in a particular case, reduce the discretion available to prosecutors, judges, and juries. because they oftentimes generate
nfairly long sentences, they breed disrespect for the system. when applied indiscriminately, they do not serve public safety. they -- let's be honest -- fill the enforcement priority that we have set, have a destablizing effect on particular communities. largely poor and of color. and applied inappropriately, they are ultimately counter productive. this is why i have today mandated the modification of the justice department's charging policies so that certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences. [applause] they now will be charged with offenses for which the acome anying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive
prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins. by reserving the most severe penalties for serious, high-level, or violent drug traffickers, we can better promote public safety and drug rehabilitation while making expenditures smarter and more productive. we have seen this approach that is bipartisan support in congress. a number of senators including durbin, leahy, lee, and paul have introduced promising legislation aimed at giving federal judges more discretion in applying mandatory minute ums in certain drug cases. the president and i look forward to working with members of both parties to refine and advance these proposals.
secondly, the department has now updated its frame work for considering compam compassionate release for inmates facing extraordinary or compelling circumstances and who pose no threat to the public. in late april, the bureau of prisons expanded the criteria which will be considered for inmates seeking compassionate release for medical reasons. today i can announce fission additional expanses to our policy, including revised criteria for elderly inmates who did not commit violent crimes and sho who have served significant portions of their sentences. of courses, as our primary responsibilities be, we must ensure the american public is protect tected from anyone who may pose a drudge dangerous to our community. finally, my colleagues and i are taking steps to identify and
share best practices for enhancing the use of diversion programs such as drug treatment and community service initiatives that can serve as incarceration. effective alternatives to our u.s. attorneys are leading the way in this regard, working along side the judiciary to meet safety impair tiffs while avoiding incarceration in certain cases. in south dakota a joint federal tribal program has helped to prevent at-risk young people from getting involved in the federal prison system. thereby improving lives, saving taxpayer resources, and keeping communities safer. this is exactly the kind kind of proven innovation that our federal policymakers and state and tribal leaders should emulate. that is why the justice
department is working through a ogram called the justice reinvestment initiative to bring state leaders, local stakeholders, private marns, and federal officials together to comprehensively reform corrections and criminal justice practices. in recent years no fewer than 17 states, supported by the department and led by governors and legislators of both parties, have directed funding away from prison construction and toward evidence-based programs and services, like treatment and supervision that are designed to reduce recidivism. in kentucky new legislation has reserved prison beds for the most serious offenders. as a result, the state is projected to reduce its prison population by more than 3,000 over the next 10 years, saving more than $40400 million. in texas investments in drug treatment for nonvie leant leapt
offenders and changes to parole policies brought about a reduction in the prison population of more than r5,000 inmates last year alone. in the same year, similar efforts helped arkansas reduce its prison population by more than 1,400. from georgia, north carolina, and ohio to pennsylvania, hawaii and far beyond reinvestment and serious reform are improving public safety and saving recious resources. let me be clear, these measures have not compromised public safety. clearly, these measures can work. it is time for others to take notice. [applause]
my policies and i will continue to work. the a.b.a. has catalogued tens of thousands of statutes that impose unwise and counterproductive clathclats radical consequences on people who have been convicted of crimes. i've asked state attorneys general and a variety of federal leaders to review their own agencies' regulations. today i can announce that i've directed all the department of justice components going forward to consider whether any proposed regulation or guidance may improse unnecessary collateral consequences on those seeking to rejoin their communities. [applause]
the bottom line is that while the aggressive enforcement of federal criminal statutes remains necessary, we cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation. to be effective, federal efforts must wls pokeous on prevention and re-entry. we must never stop being tough on crime. we must also be smart and efficient when battling crime and the conditions and the individual choices that breed t. ultimately, this is about much more than fairness, it is a matter of public safety and public good. it makes plain economic sense. it is about who we are as a people, and it has the pow -- it has the potential to positively impact the lives of every man, woman, and child in every city and neighborhood in the united states. after wall u all, whenever recidivism crime is committed,
communities are victimized, burdens are increased, and depleted resources are depleted further. today and together we must declare that we will no longer set many for such an unjust and unsustainable status quo. to do so would be to bee tray our history, our shared commitment to justice and the founding principles of our nation. instead, we must recommit ourselves as a country tackling the most difficult questions and the most costly problems, no matter how perplex or intractable they appear. we must pledge as legal professionals to lend our talents, our training, and our diverse proexpect yiffs to advancing this critical work. and we must resolvet as a people to take a firm stand against violence, against victim zation, against inequality and for justice. this is our chance, to bring america's criminal justice system in line with our most
sacred values. this is our opportunity to define this time, our time, as one of progress and innovation. this is our prosms to -- this is our promise to forge a more just society, and this is our solemn obstacle gage as stewards of the law and servants of those who protect and empower to open a frank and constructive dialogue about the need to reform a broken system. to fight those sweeping systemic changes we need and uphold our deer dearest values as the a.b.a. always has by calling or our creags not merely to serve our clients or win their cases, but to ensure that in every case, in every circumstance, and in every community justice is done. this, after all, is the cause that's been our common pursuit for more than two decades, the ideals that have did driven our country and the goals that will
drive president obama and leaders in the months ahead. of course we recognize, as you do, that the reforms i have announced today 0, others that we must explore and implement in the coming years, these will not take hold over night. there will be setbacks and there will be false starts. we will encounter resistance. we will encounter opposition. but if we keep faith in one another, and in the principles that we've always held dear, if we stay true to the a.b.a.'s history as a driver of positive change, and if we keep moving forward together, knowing that the need for this work will outlast us, but determined to make the difference that we seek, i know we can all be confident where these efforts will lead us. i look forward to everything that we will undoubtedly achieve, and i will always be have a stand alone to more just and prosperous future
that all our citizens deserve. thank you all so much for having me. [applause] >> boston mob boss whitey bulger was found guilty of 31 of the 32 criminal charges. his sentencing zathe date is set for november 13. at 83 years old, mr. bulger could spend the rest of his life in prison. we talked about the case with kevin cullen, author of the book bulger." the co-author of "whitey
bulger, and the manhunt that brought him to justice." to start off with, who is whitey bulger and why is he on trial? guest: he's probably the pre-eminent gangster -- gangster of our time. what is most significant about w -- what is most significant about him with anyone else you would put in a pantheon of crime figures is that he corrupted the f.b.i. the f.b.i. was helping him identify people to murt in the 19 -- murder in the 1980's and even in the 1970's. he was recruited by the f.b.i. in 1975 because the f.b.i. had a national policy set of taking
out the mafia. and all over the country the f.b.i. recruited criminals that would know something about the mafia. one problem with the national policy is that it does not take into account regional differences. and unlike any other place in america, in boston the irish gangsters rivaled the mafia when it came to influence and particularly when it came to lethal ability. the irish guys killed many more people than the italians in this town, and whitey bulger was a good example. he was a killer, but he was hired by the f.b.i. to provide information about the mafia, but what compromised the f.b.i. is he started using the f.b.i. more than they were using him. what is detailed in the book is how much the f.b.i. actually went out of its way not just to look the other way when whitey bulger murdered people but to
actually thwart attempts by decent law enforcement to take him down. at one point he was the suspect in four separate homicides in the early 1980's. a business man in oklahoma, a boston businessman murdered in miami, and a gang hit here on the waterfront just a few miles from where his trial is taking place. the f.b.i. went out of its way to thwart its own people. there were f.b.i. agents in oklahoma trying to do the right thing and they were lied to by people in boston. this was from the approval of f.b.i. headquarters in washington. host: our guest with us until 9:00 to talk about the whitey bulger case and what happened to the jury now in the decision-making phase. if you have questions for him, ---- what call, 202-58
has been the approach of the prosecution and the defense? guest: the prosecution has been matter of fact about this. it has laid out what amounts to a mountain of evidence. this prile trial has been going on for over 20 two months, and the prosecution has spent three-quarters of the time. the defense is much shorter. the defense went for a week. the prosecution just ran it out, murder after murder, victim after victim. there was a steady parade of killers, thugs, and drug thank dealers, all of whom who had cut deals with the cost to testify against whitey bulger. that becomes the defense claim. the defense says you can't trust anything of these guys. the defense says they are all killers, thugs, and drug dealers, and you can't believe anything they say. so in closing arguments the
other day, i think it was very noticeable a different approach. the government just laid it out and said this guy, him and his friends were the most dangerous people on the streets of boston for 20 to 30 years and he needs to be held accountable for that. the defense strategy was just opposite. while they would not use the word "acquit" they very specifically asked the jurt to acquit without saying the word quit their client as a message to the f.b.i. for punishing the f.b.i. for protecting a murder walk free because government corruption was so bad. in one of my columns i compared it to that ascene in animal house when he stands up when they are charged with running a fraternity and he stands up and says the charges are trumped up. this is an attack on the fraternity system, and that's an attack on the united states, and
all the from ternt boys walked out of the courtroom. it felt absurd to listen to that defense, but that's all they had going for them, because they even competed in their opening statement and again in their closing statement, that their client is what he is, he's a drug dealer that has made millions from drugs. in this town, whitey bulger's apolicy jifts, including his brother who was president of the university of massachusetts, he and others had always said that whitey never delivered drugs. there was that claim that whitey kement drugs out of southeast. there are more drugs in stouth boston and more heartaches in south boston than any other section of the city, and yet there were people that clung to that myth. whitey bulger spent his entire
criminal career creating that myth that he was a good bad guy, a gangster with scruples. but gangsters with scruples don't rat out their friends and they don't murder women. those are the only two things he disputed. he says he did not kill two women who are among the 19 women . he doesn't care about the other stuff. he knows he's going to die in prison. we received letters he wrote from jail after his arrest in 2011 in which he said, i know i'm going to spend time in jail, i didn't kill those women, and i'm not a rat. he's not trying to get acquitted, he's trying to get even. host: "whitey bulger: america's most wanted gangster." first call from massachusetts. go ahead. you are on with kevin cullen of
he boston globe. they -- y question is, if they charged him with tax evasion and bookwalking, he's already 83, he would have died in jail. but if these prosecutors opened the door to everything, absolutely everything, and whitey, because he is wanting to defend his legacy as far as killing women and so on and so forth chose not to testify, it was going to be his last horrah, and yet he chose not to do it. i don't understand why he didn't testify. caller: i think -- guest: i think i do. i think he was afraid of being cross-examined by the
prosecutors. once he testifies, he opens himself to anything. if i'm the prosecutor and i go back to his teenage days and i ask about the sexual assaults that he was charged with. now, he was not convicted, but he portrays himself as a patriot i would ask why he was charged with rain when he was stationed in montana during the korean war. more specifically what whitey bulger didn't want to hear from the prosecution was him trying to explain that in 1966 he gave up his bankruptcy polices. they robbed a bank in indiana and here in massachusetts. and he gave up his accomplices. we found the report in his prison file. it is very clear that he identified these people for the f.b.i. so he was an informant or what they call a rat as far bas back as the 1960's. he could not live having to be challenged on that. that's my opinion. i have nothing to back it up.
but i agree with you. he had nothing to lose. you could say he's preserving issues for appeal, but that makes no sense to me. that said, when he is sentenced, and he will be sentenced, he gets to say something. so i imagine he's going to give us this speel anyway. anyway.il he's going to say i was never a rat. i was honorable, the f.b.i. was not. like i said, nobody gets to question him on it. it's his last words. host: from florida, go ahead. is, r: is -- my question are you surprised that the jury is still deliberating? guest: no, i'm not. yes, it is an open and shut case, but frankly, as i said, the defense really only contested maybe three or four of the 32 counts. they didn't really moubt a defense. they said he didn't kill debbie
davis. for some reason they are insisting he did not shake down a bookie named kevin hayes. i think the jury is being meticulous. it's a mass massive indictment. there's a sense. i never try to read juries. i think it is impossible. when i hear people say they are going to come back today or they are going to come back tomorrow, we don't know. yes, the judge provided instructions. the jury had a number of questions. what they were most concerned with is they didn't have agreement on all of the counts. in a rack tearing count -- this is unusual -- he's charged with 32 counts of rack tearing. you only have to be convicted of 2 to be convicted of rack tearing, and that's basically going to throw you away for life. the judge told them, if they can't agree with one charge, they can leave it blank. they can say guilty, not guilty, or leave it blank. i think the jugs judge's
instructions should move it along. host: what's the make-up of the jury? , 10 women -- federal juries tend to be suburban. they come from the greater boston area. it is impossible to read juries. people make millions of >> you can watch more online in our seats and video archives. tomorrow on washington journal, americans protest the reform president -- discuss the repeal the healthcare law for one year. then, he looks at his network latest series, in thing on inequality in the u.s. justices him. after, as manager of education we